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philipmuller97

Optimisation for 16" MacBook Pro

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Hi everyone!

I recently upgraded to the new 16" MacBook Pro with 5500m Graphics and 8GB of VRam. I'm running Catalina 10.15.1 (19B2106) and Publisher 1.7.3. Before I start, I am aware that this might be normal or expected behaviour, but I'm not sure, so I'm posting to make sure everything is ok. There are two things I wish to talk about that might be related, and they are affecting all three products of the affinity suite:

1) There are graphic glitches present in some scenarios. I've encountered a few, from weird display update failures after moving or resizing objects to adjustment layer breakdown. The most consistently replicable glitch seems to occur when trying to move semi-transparent objects in screen blending mode over a textured background. It leaves a faint "dust trace" behind until you let go again. I've attached a screen recording as well as the file used to better demonstrate my issue. I've opened the same file on my mid 2011 iMac and the glitch doesn't show up. It's worth pointing out that using Metal as a the display engine seems to fix the problem, although I'd prefer to use OpenGL since Metal makes the fans go crazy. 

2) General performance is ok, but worse than my mid 2011 iMac, even with Metal as the display engine. I know, I'm comparing a desktop computer to a portable laptop, but still. The iMac is almost 9 years old now, and is orders of magnitude slower in every single benchmark/test I ran. This includes single and multithreaded performance, as well as graphics performance. Yet, using affinity software is just slower on my new MacBook Pro. It's not a huge difference, but noticeable, and really weird considering everything that I just pointed out. In particular, alt-duplicating heavy artboards (in Designer, in this case) is smoother on my iMac after a while (sequential duplications), as well as moving an artboard around while surrounded by other artboards. Both of my systems lag significantly, but that is to be expected given the heavy load. It just seems odd to me that the 9 year old iMac seems to take the crown here (I've checked all settings on both machines to synchronise them).

 

Thank you in advance for reading and let me know if you need more details.

Affinity_tests.afpub

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I also have the 16" Macbook Pro but I find it's extremely fast in Affinity. I have about 10 macs spread throughout the last decade and it's by far the fastest in all of the Affinity programs. I'm using 100's of 20MB+ JPG files and loading is a little slow because they are linked but otherwise it's fine once they are in.

I have another glitch and that is the Affinity Publisher freezes on exit like it hangs up trying to flush the cache as it's holding over 15GB of memory.

I'm going to post in a new thread as I don't want to hijack this one.

 

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On 12/20/2019 at 11:07 AM, Gabe said:

Hi @philipmuller97,

Sorry for the delayed reply. 

Can you re-attach the afpub file? It appears to be truncated. 

Sure, here you go! A fresh new set of samples that should be easier to play with. I've uploaded a screen recording from both my iMac and MacBook Pro 16" to better illustrate the problem. You can clearly see a huge difference in behaviour, both machines use the same settings.

15 hours ago, Bryce said:

I also have the 16" Macbook Pro but I find it's extremely fast in Affinity. I have about 10 macs spread throughout the last decade and it's by far the fastest in all of the Affinity programs. I'm using 100's of 20MB+ JPG files and loading is a little slow because they are linked but otherwise it's fine once they are in.

I have another glitch and that is the Affinity Publisher freezes on exit like it hangs up trying to flush the cache as it's holding over 15GB of memory.

I'm going to post in a new thread as I don't want to hijack this one.

 

Would you be willing to download the sample file I provided and check if the problems appear on your machine as well? That would be really helpful. It might be an issue with my machine. What configuration are you using? You can check the video files to better understand what I'm experiencing.

test2.afpub

 

First video - iMac

Second video -16" MacBook Pro

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Here is what it looks like on mine:

 

It looks pretty good here but that's because I'm zoomed out a little. I see that your new mac is running at a lot higher resolution than your 2011 iMac and I think that has to do with everything. The way Affinity handles graphics, is based upon how zoomed in you are to move all of the pixels around. If I zoom in and do it I get the same look as you. So I think it has a lot to do with the  drivers and Affinity moving around a lot more pixels on the retina display. Mine is recorded on an external 4k display since I'm at work.

This is also not lag in the traditional sense but it's skipping frames, giving the jumping look. It's doing that so it can move in real time rather than the 60 FPS and then have lag if it has to display all 60, then it would have to slow down.

It might help to disable Automatic graphic switching in the Energy Saver control panel.

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21 minutes ago, Bryce said:

Here is what it looks like on mine:

 

 

It looks pretty good here but that's because I'm zoomed out a little. I see that your new mac is running at a lot higher resolution than your 2011 iMac and I think that has to do with everything. The way Affinity handles graphics, is based upon how zoomed in you are to move all of the pixels around. If I zoom in and do it I get the same look as you. So I think it has a lot to do with the  drivers and Affinity moving around a lot more pixels on the retina display. Mine is recorded on an external 4k display since I'm at work.

This is also not lag in the traditional sense but it's skipping frames, giving the jumping look. It's doing that so it can move in real time rather than the 60 FPS and then have lag if it has to display all 60, then it would have to slow down.

It might help to disable Automatic graphic switching in the Energy Saver control panel.

Thank you for taking the time to record on your machine as well. I just realised that I didn't make it clear what the videos uploaded represent, so I updated the post with the upload to clarify. The first video is recorded on my iMac: you can see it's not super smooth, but it is "live" and leaves no trace behind. The second video is recorded on my MacBook Pro. Dragging around is smoother, but leaves a trace at the original location. That graphic glitch is always there, no matter the scaling of the view. I haven't yet tried to use an external display, that might be something to test. Could you post the specs of your 16" MacBook Pro? Could you perform the same dragging around on the built in display? Does it leave a trace behind? If it doesn't, there might be something wrong with my unit. Thank you again for your time.

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Mine does it to on the native screen. I assume it's some sort of display driver glitch. There are still quite a few bugs in Catalina too. Does it do it with any other effect. I have the 8GB ATI graphics upgrade too.

617720569_ScreenShot2019-12-21at2_44_44PM.jpg.9a3d941fc90c6ed2ed019872eadaf7b1.jpg

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15 minutes ago, Bryce said:

Mine does it to on the native screen. I assume it's some sort of display driver glitch. There are still quite a few bugs in Catalina too. Does it do it with any other effect. I have the 8GB ATI graphics upgrade too.

617720569_ScreenShot2019-12-21at2_44_44PM.jpg.9a3d941fc90c6ed2ed019872eadaf7b1.jpg

Well that is a relief, this should exclude a hardware issue with my unit. Thank you again. Yes, Catalina is still pretty buggy. Might have something to do with that.

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Personally I have no problems with my MBP 15 / 2018, i7, 32GB, though I have not used Affinity much since upgrading to Catalina.

There are several possibilities in the Macs settings where graphic behavior can be influenced. Maybe one or some of these could help to ease the recomputing load on the system. 

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Hi all,

This does not seem to be related to the specs, but more to the display resolution and the "Retina rendering" option selected. When you have a high-resolution display and the "Retina Rendering" option is set to "Automatic", it has got this ghosting effect. I have passed this on to our developers. 

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